Sulzberger Jr. Issues Editorial Denouncing Trump Nepotism
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The New York Times has an editorial condemning President-elect Trump for naming his son in law, Jared Kushner, as a senior White House adviser. It cites "the real dangers posed by nepotism." (The Times, of all people, should know.)
"There's a good reason for anti-nepotism laws," the Times editorial says, warning that when relatives are hired, "they undermine the public's faith that important posts are being filled with the best possible candidates."
Also, "it upends delicate dynamics, as senior staff members keep their mouths shut rather than contradict a trusted relative of their boss."
The concerns the Times editorial raises about nepotism in government might well also apply to, say, a publicly traded company. The Times editorial draws no distinction between nepotism in government and in corporate America.
That's odd, because if there were ever a company familiar with the way that nepotism undermines "faith that important posts are being filled with the best possible candidates" or "upends delicate dynamics," it would be the New York Times Company itself.
As the Times Company's most recent proxy statement put it:
Or as the Times news article announcing that Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, then 36, had been named deputy publisher put it:
The Times manages to issue this editorial denouncing the ill-effects of nepotism without a scintilla of apparent self-awareness or self-deprecating humor. It's almost enough to make a reader nostalgic for the days when the editorial page was edited by Andrew Rosenthal, the son of Timesman A.M. Rosenthal.
Maybe it's possible to make a case that nepotism is no problem in a family business, even a publicly listed one with non-family shareholders, but is a problem in government. I can conceive of such a case myself. But the Times doesn't even try to make that case, instead criticizing Mr. Trump's hiring of Mr. Kushner by citing sweeping principles that would seem to apply just as well to the Times itself.
Mr. Trump might respond to the Times editorial with a note to Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.: "Dear Arthur: I'll agree not to hire any of my relatives the minute you agree to fire all of yours. Sincerely, Donald Trump."
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